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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 20:57
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
What volcanic islands are you talking about?
 Surtsey, and those others observed in recent time by biologists (from memory). 
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Anyway, when small volcanic islands are created, the change happens very fast, surrounding climates remain the same and of course it doesn't take long for life to take hold, since any life round about is already adapted to the conditions - temperature, light patterns, seasonal rhythms - on the island. The situation has nothing in common with that of Britain during the retreat of the ice cover.
So You agree anyway about the fast changes. And yes, the situation with retreating glaciers were of course very different - the problem is to find anything comparable to the later from recent times (We have not yet seen so much the results of ongoing melting, so it may be premature to say anything about it yet).
 
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Moreover, what you're saying now still has nothing to do with the physical mobility of humans at the time. Mortality and proneness to debilitating disease and famine would be more important factors than walking speed.
Except if organisms flourished in short time after retreat of ice, then the bigger animals perhaps did too and after them their human "predators" and hunters.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 22:17
This thread has passed from the inquisitive to the argumentative. Keep in mind that while pasturing animals "migrate", carnivores usually adhere to fixed territories, while omnivores will take opportunity wherever found. OK, this "classification" is simply an underscoring that speculative musings do not sound historical analyses make. Yes we can wax prolific in the debates of paleoanthropology as caught by the following web site:
 
 
However, in terms of the material historical record, population shifts and territorial movement (migratory waves if you would have it) are something entirely different, be they the maritime movements of the "Sea People" in the Eastern Mediterranean of 19th dynasty Egypt or the impact of the Jaga on the Ba Kongo "kingdom" in the 16th century.
 
Besides at the risk of throwing the proverbial wrench into the works, what is one to make of Mungo Man or has everyone forgotten this little piece of the puzzle quite apt to the contents of the thread:
 
 
Not that others don't keep the frittering up to tempo:
 
 
Suffice it to say that as historians we have not said much about the available evidence on distinct and formative migrations to ramble on about the last glaciation and oceanographic vulcanism. How about speculation on the parallels in bog burials between Eire and Danmark?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 23:36
The influx of people in Scandinavia after the last glaciation and the adaptations of people to a more broad spectrum economy (and it´s social, demographic and cultural implications) in the mesolithic, and of cource the processes of neolithization are still rather hot topics in Scandinavian stone age archaeology. New sites generate new data that is published in papers and books. New methods in genetic research, isotope research and similar are seing the light of the day. One such example is Karl Göran Sjögren, Douglas Price and Torbjörn Ahlströms studies of mobility seen through analyzes of Strontium isotopes in human remains from middle neolithic passage tombs in the province of Västergötland in the southwestern part of Sweden.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 11:09
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
What volcanic islands are you talking about?
 Surtsey, and those others observed in recent time by biologists (from memory). 
Surtsey is less than 2 square kilometres. Britain is over 200,000. If it took a year to colonise Surtsey then how about 100,000- plus years for Britain?
 
Moreover life came to Surtsey either via the sea or by air. The fish, sea mammals and birds could hardly be said to be migrating, just filling in where they had always existed in conditions just like they were used to. Same goes for the other life brought over by birds.
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Moreover, what you're saying now still has nothing to do with the physical mobility of humans at the time. Mortality and proneness to debilitating disease and famine would be more important factors than walking speed.
Except if organisms flourished in short time after retreat of ice, then the bigger animals perhaps did too and after them their human "predators" and hunters.
They gradually moved in as the ice gradually retreated, a process that probably took tens of thousands of years.
Once again, the spread of the human population had nothing to do with how fast they could walk. Generally speaking humans walk somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 times faster than cultures spread, even in inter-glacial periods.  


Edited by gcle2003 - 10-Jun-2009 at 11:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 11:42
Someone has tried to count the speed with which agriculture spread from an original startpoint in the fertile crescent and came up with a speed of aproximately one kilometer a year. But such spreading can of course hardly be called a migration (even if it can have encompassed such elements too) but rather a diffusion of ideas, technique and knowledge and a spreading of crops and animals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 14:31
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Someone has tried to count the speed with which agriculture spread from an original startpoint in the fertile crescent and came up with a speed of aproximately one kilometer a year. But such spreading can of course hardly be called a migration (even if it can have encompassed such elements too) but rather a diffusion of ideas, technique and knowledge and a spreading of crops and animals.
 
Then there is the work of paleobiologists on maize. Here is a good summary of current directions:
 
 
However, plant domestication can hardly be ascribed to a single original nexus and this debate is decades old as seen in this article from the 90s:
 
 
What is interesting within this debate is the dating parallels for the advent of domestication on a global scale with projected dates indicative of wild plants from  10 to 7000 BC becoming human adjuncts between 5000 and 4000 BC. Consequently, the claim that "agriculture" originated in the Near East and then spread outward is but a chauvinistic take on origins. Human resourcefulness in the past is always ready to put a dent onto the theoretical armour of present-day interpretations.  
 
OK now let us hear from the doomsday ecologists that assign the rise of agriculture to human decimation of paleolithic fauna!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 16:49

This response is without specific quotes.

The last postglacial age is perhaps a little more than 10000 years, and back to previous interglæacial age is some ten thousands of years. So of course lifeforms came much much quicker(gcle)!And the remark about chauvinism (agriculture originated in Meiddle East) made me very curious, since I was not aware this forum is filled up with middle eastern chauvinists (Jordanian? Israelis or Saudis?). Could be interesting discussion between Middle
Easterncentricism (they of course would label it not "Middle East" but something like "Head of the world. They should not since that is preciely where I live!), Eurocenmtricism or whatever - perhaps extraterrestrial chauvinists?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 16:59
And some adds: something that has made me think about the possibillity that humans were rather mobile from early ages is an exhibition I visited this spring about the "Iceman", found at present day Italian border to Austria. I was told he had been trying to escape enemies for 3 days through mountain regions before being killed, and taht his birthplace had been determined to be further south. In addition visitors were informed about exchange of "goods" at that time (about 5000 years ago), stones from the alps found in and around baltic region. There is also later evidence of bronze age "trade" between the meditteranean and baltic regions, especially amber, from the region approximately eastern prussia/lithuania to among other places mycenae.(of course that is very much later than the paleolithics but still thought provoking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 17:00
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

. Consequently, the claim that "agriculture" originated in the Near East and then spread outward is but a chauvinistic take on origins. Human resourcefulness in the past is always ready to put a dent onto the theoretical armour of present-day interpretations.  
 
As for Europe it is believed that agriculture spread from the Near East. Concerning other parts of the world there is of course evidence for separate origins of agriculture and plant and animal domestications.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 18:32
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

And some adds: something that has made me think about the possibillity that humans were rather mobile from early ages is an exhibition I visited this spring about the "Iceman", found at present day Italian border to Austria. I was told he had been trying to escape enemies for 3 days through mountain regions before being killed, and taht his birthplace had been determined to be further south. In addition visitors were informed about exchange of "goods" at that time (about 5000 years ago), stones from the alps found in and around baltic region. There is also later evidence of bronze age "trade" between the meditteranean and baltic regions, especially amber, from the region approximately eastern prussia/lithuania to among other places mycenae.(of course that is very much later than the paleolithics but still thought provoking.
It's difficult to keep up with the way you switch to different situations.
At one time we'te talking about how long it might take humans to migrate/expand from Alaska down to Chile; then it becomes a question of trade between already settled cultures; then you're talking about how far an individual hunter might roam.
 
I've no doubt whatsoever that hunter-gatherers had quite wide areas within which the hunted and gathered: they might easily take days or more to cover. The point is they didn't keep going in the same direction. Lions have quite wide hunting territories: so have elephants: but they haven't spread very far geographically.
 
And I really don't know what trade around 3,000 BC has to do with the subject. Finding Baltic amber in Crete doesn't mean that anyone actually travelled from the Baltic to Crete: it could easily have changed hands a dozen or more times during its travels.
There was plenty of silk in ancient (pre-Byzantine) Rome and Greece, but very few Chinese (if any), and some of the Romans and Greeks of the time had very curious ideas about where it came from.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 19:20
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

It's difficult to keep up with the way you switch to different situations.
At one time we'te talking about how long it might take humans to migrate/expand from Alaska down to Chile; then it becomes a question of trade between already settled cultures; then you're talking about how far an individual hunter might roam.
 
I've no doubt whatsoever that hunter-gatherers had quite wide areas within which the hunted and gathered: they might easily take days or more to cover. The point is they didn't keep going in the same direction. Lions have quite wide hunting territories: so have elephants: but they haven't spread very far geographically.
 
And I really don't know what trade around 3,000 BC has to do with the subject. Finding Baltic amber in Crete doesn't mean that anyone actually travelled from the Baltic to Crete: it could easily have changed hands a dozen or more times during its travels.
There was plenty of silk in ancient (pre-Byzantine) Rome and Greece, but very few Chinese (if any), and some of the Romans and Greeks of the time had very curious ideas about where it came from.
First: The discussion about american settlement where more of a topic of the Jared Diamond and north south axis thread, not so much this mobility of early humans discussion. That is a wide topic, and I don´t see "mobility" is exclusively a matter of expansion. and since You mention Lions and Elephants I have to say they were far more widespread in the fast, as many other wild beasts, even in Europe (at least the lion). They are not so much an example of non expanding species, as of some with "shrinking" habitats (can perhaps be compared to late stone age people, since they also lost more and more territories, until final disappearance for a lot).
And I agree that spread of items, like amber, does not prove any direct contact between the peoples at both end. But it is hard to imagine the "receiving" party did not know it came from somewhere, that there was rumours or legends and some curiosity, imaginations about what was "behind the next hilltop".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 20:53
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

First: The discussion about american settlement where more of a topic of the Jared Diamond and north south axis thread, not so much this mobility of early humans discussion. That is a wide topic, and I don´t see "mobility" is exclusively a matter of expansion.
What exactly do you mean by mobility? If you simply mean the physical ability to move around - walk at 4-5 miles per hour, run up to a maximum of around 20 mph, run long distances averaging a mile every six minutes - then I imagine primitive man was probably slightly inferior to us due mostly to inferior diet but there probably wasn't much in it. He also would have lacked our knowledge and techniques for coping with varied climates and environments (in the extreme, no submarines for instance, not even scuba equipment).
 
None of that would have played much part in migration or expansion, since all the evidence is that such movements took place at far fewer speeds than that.
Quote
and since You mention Lions and Elephants I have to say they were far more widespread in the fast, as many other wild beasts, even in Europe (at least the lion). They are not so much an example of non expanding species, as of some with "shrinking" habitats (can perhaps be compared to late stone age people, since they also lost more and more territories, until final disappearance for a lot).
The point is that that has nothing to do with the lion's or the elephant's 'mobility' but with their ability or inability to adapt. You were suggesting that the fact that the 'iceman' might have travelled several days from his base might have somehow affected his people's migratory/expansionary patterns. Lions and elephants had wide ranges: it doesn't increase their expansion any.
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And I agree that spread of items, like amber, does not prove any direct contact between the peoples at both end. But it is hard to imagine the "receiving" party did not know it came from somewhere, that there was rumours or legends and some curiosity, imaginations about what was "behind the next hilltop".
By as late as 3,000 BC yes of course. In fact obviously much earlier since we're talking now about historic time. But when I was writing about people not having much motivation to move because they were unaware there was anywhere else to move to it was in the context of far earlier periods when the Americas in particular (but anywhere else for that matter) were first being settled.


Edited by gcle2003 - 10-Jun-2009 at 20:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 21:16
I am not so sure at least part of contemporary peoples diet are "superior" - go past some Burger King! Or what about our training, can we really believe the man or wonman in an office, or lecturing in University is physically more fit for long distance walking, running swimming(relative to average palaeolithic men through the ages - perhaps except under extreme conditions of starvation or epidemics)? I very much doubt so!
Should our ability to determine our own location (with the assistance solely of our senses)
be better I find simply unbelievable!
Last You mention again prehistoric man in early periods could be "unaware" there was anywhere to move. Yes probably if they wathced the ocean to the horizon.  But if were on part of a continuous land mass, could they be unaware there was more of it? Yhey could at any time see they were not on some "edge of the world", so I simply can not understand how it is possible to be unaware of that (is this a misunderstanding? Do You mean when they saw the edge of the  great glaciers they could not know there were more hospitable areas behind?)!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 21:27
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What exactly do you mean by mobility? If you simply mean the physical ability to move around - walk at 4-5 miles per hour, run up to a maximum of around 20 mph, run long distances averaging a mile every six minutes - then I imagine primitive man was probably slightly inferior to us due mostly to inferior diet but there probably wasn't much in it.
 
Primitive is of course a relative term, but one thing that has strucken many visitors of so called primitive peoples in recent and historical time is their very high endurance and their ability to walk long stretches without being fatigued.
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 10-Jun-2009 at 21:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 21:42
Where to start with rebuttal as regard to the disparate items now put forth? Placing aside the root of the current evil, at the beginning as with all serpentes migrating through Eden, one must admit befuddlement with all the misapplied terminology, to wit:
 
"The last postglacial age is perhaps a little more than 10000 years, and back to previous interglæacial age is some ten thousands of years. So of course lifeforms came much much quicker(gcle)!And the remark about chauvinism (agriculture originated in Meiddle East) made me very curious, since I was not aware this forum is filled up with middle eastern chauvinists (Jordanian? Israelis or Saudis?). Could be interesting discussion between Middle Easterncentricism (they of course would label it not "Middle East" but something like "Head of the world. They should not since that is preciely where I live!), Eurocenmtricism or whatever - perhaps extraterrestrial chauvinists?"
 
Hey folks, please respect terminology and grasp what is meant by Glacial Age, glaciation, and Interglacial periods. The last major glaciation in the climatic history of the Earth came to a close some 10,000 years ago; however, polar ice sheets (or continental glaciers) are something enirely different from mountain glaciers, hence one is hard put to discover the claimed relationship between the Alpine "iceman" and all of this borrowed lingo--i.e. "lifeforms"--from a tired Trekkie convention! The trespasser in the Alpine reaches of 3000 BC had little connenction to the residents of the Cantabrian caves of 33,000 BC. Or did this ill-lucked "dude" discover a wormhole?
 
Next a lesson on 19th century scientism. Now the phrase "the craddle of Civilization" was not the mystic musing of some egg-head fedayeen or meditating mullah. In a certain way it was the product of European secular "origin" stories married to the mad scramble to prove or disprove the Bible. In a perverse way, this theme on mobility is but a corollary on this closing of the mind. Even today, despite more than a century of firm archaeological evidence, there are some who deny the Amerindian had knowledge of the wheel! This cultural chauvinsm was a peculiar trait of European academics well into the 1940s and remained a controversy between and within "faculties" into the 1960s. The Internet is replete with the detritus of these encounters.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 13:18
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

I am not so sure at least part of contemporary peoples diet are "superior" - go past some Burger King! Or what about our training, can we really believe the man or wonman in an office, or lecturing in University is physically more fit for long distance walking, running swimming(relative to average palaeolithic men through the ages - perhaps except under extreme conditions of starvation or epidemics)? I very much doubt so!
Yes there are many obese people around. But athletic records are continually being broken and people get bigger and stronger from generation to generation. The very fact that we do have more obese people around proves that available diet is superior: only rarely can prehistoric man have had the luxury of over-eating.
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Should our ability to determine our own location (with the assistance solely of our senses)
be better I find simply unbelievable!
I don't quite see what that has to do with anything. We recognise our location from our surroundings. I know when I'm home. I know when I'm in the supermarket, and which one. Similarly prehistoric man must have known where he was is he was in familiar terriroty and wouldn't f he wasn't.. Neither of us could tell you from our own senses that we were at say 50 degrees North and 2 degrees West, but I bet I'd have a better chance of estimating correctly than any prehistoric man.
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Last You mention again prehistoric man in early periods could be "unaware" there was anywhere to move. Yes probably if they wathced the ocean to the horizon.  But if were on part of a continuous land mass, could they be unaware there was more of it?
Yes. How in fact could they know whether there was or not? Even Columbus was unaware there was no continuous landmass connecting him to China.
 
More importantly, why would they think that whatever might be there would be more welcoming or fertile than where they were - unless as I already pointed out, some traumatic event had affected their current location, making it less habitable or more crowded.
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Yhey could at any time see they were not on some "edge of the world", so I simply can not understand how it is possible to be unaware of that (is this a misunderstanding?
They quite conceivably thought the world ended fairly near by. Not that they would have meant by 'world' what you and I do.
 
Did you ever see the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, which explores this theme (and is hilarious to boot).
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 Do You mean when they saw the edge of the  great glaciers they could not know there were more hospitable areas behind?)!
No I meant more like if you live in the middle of the Kalahari, and everyone you have ever heard of has always lived in the middle of the Kalahari, you are liable to think that the Kalahari is all there is. Even though you could easily walk out of it in a matter of months.
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Primitive is of course a relative term, but one thing that has strucken many visitors of so called primitive peoples in recent and historical time is their very high endurance and their ability to walk long stretches without being fatigued.
Because of course they do it habitually and in many cases because they have developed at high altitudes. However, East African runners nowadays run faster and further than their predecessors, thanks to superior diet and more effective training.
 
But essentially we are talking about very marginal differences. Almost everyone reasonably fit should be able to tun a mile in 5 minutes (standard for British Army recurits in my day) and very few people can run one in 4. In prehistoric times I doubt it was very different.


Edited by gcle2003 - 11-Jun-2009 at 13:28
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I don't quite see what that has to do with anything. We recognise our location from our surroundings. I know when I'm home. I know when I'm in the supermarket, and which one. Similarly prehistoric man must have known where he was is he was in familiar terriroty and wouldn't f he wasn't.. Neither of us could tell you from our own senses that we were at say 50 degrees North and 2 degrees West, but I bet I'd have a better chance of estimating correctly than any prehistoric man.
 
Many modern people can have difficulties in finding their way as soon they come out in terrain, like forest and similar. So called "primitive" people seldom got lost in such surroundings according to many ethnographic reports. Often they could read signs and tracks in the nature that enabled them to find their way. And even if they reached unknown territory they could easily backtrack and find their way home.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Because of course they do it habitually and in many cases because they have developed at high altitudes. However, East African runners nowadays run faster and further than their predecessors, thanks to superior diet and more effective training.
 
These runners are just exceptions. Most ordinary peole in our society cannot put up with many of these so called primitive peoles in endurance. and it doesn´t only apply for high altitudes. Several people who have visited for example Native americans in the Amazon have whitnessed about the same endurance and strenght. Also some people who has visited pygmys in Central Africa has been astounded how fast and how long these people could walk in difficult terrain, often leaving the visitors exhausted after just a short stretch.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 14:06
According to DNA analysis, human beings did spread over a large distance over a few thousands years.
Let's say that human beings left Africa 65,000 years ago, and 50,000 years ago they were in Australia.
How many kilometres are there between the Horn of Africa and Australia if they travelled along beach? If you divide that between 15,000 years (with a margin of errror), we could more or less calcalute the standard migration rate.
 
I'm still more inclined to believe that the migration was more likely caused by expansion. The individuals who left Africa were about 200 strong; let's say 50 moved on along the South Asian coast to Australia. When their numbers grew, new communities were formed to the east of the original clan.... and so on, so on, therefore leaving a chain of human settlements along the Asian coast all the way to Australia.
 
I'd really like to direct this question to Spencer Wells or to any scientist working on the Genographic Project, regarding the expansion patterns.
 
There are theories that the Neolithic/agricultural revolution took place because human expansion had reached the extent of occupying all the areas in the world that could provide natural food sources; therefore they'd have to find a more efficient way to poduce food sources.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 14:37
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

There are theories that the Neolithic/agricultural revolution took place because human expansion had reached the extent of occupying all the areas in the world that could provide natural food sources; therefore they'd have to find a more efficient way to poduce food sources. 
 
Some researchers propose that (at least in some areas) the adoption of agriculture not always were driven by overpopulation or lack of recourses. There can also be ideological and political motivations as the wish to participate in networks of exchange, enter political networks, increse status by having agricultural products and livestocks as symbols of power and status and for reciprocasy.
There are also thoughts about having cereals as a base of making fermented breweries used for social and cultic reasons. When once agriculture was introduced there would be greater outputs of food per acre than in hunting and gathering (at least in some mileus) which lead to increase in population. After a while it was difficult to go back to the old system and agriculture became more or less permanet (at least in some areas). Agriculture gives more food per acre but it also demands more input of labour. That and several other factors lead to changes in culture, social relations, political and economical construction of society.
 
It seems that some people though were able to stay away from the agricultural way of life and some others were in special regions (like estuaries and other affluent coastal areas) able to go back to a life as hunter gatherers (at least partly). In Scandinavia we have a special neolithic culture called the pitted ware culture who were such cost living hunter gatherers (with som pigs and other livestocks as a complement and maybe also for trade and exhange).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 14:48
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I don't quite see what that has to do with anything. We recognise our location from our surroundings. I know when I'm home. I know when I'm in the supermarket, and which one. Similarly prehistoric man must have known where he was is he was in familiar terriroty and wouldn't f he wasn't.. Neither of us could tell you from our own senses that we were at say 50 degrees North and 2 degrees West, but I bet I'd have a better chance of estimating correctly than any prehistoric man.
 
Many modern people can have difficulties in finding their way as soon they come out in terrain, like forest and similar. So called "primitive" people seldom got lost in such surroundings according to many ethnographic reports. Often they could read signs and tracks in the nature that enabled them to find their way. And even if they reached unknown territory they could easily backtrack and find their way home.
I can do that in my habitat. They can do it in theirs. It depends on where you grow up and what you learn. So?
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Because of course they do it habitually and in many cases because they have developed at high altitudes. However, East African runners nowadays run faster and further than their predecessors, thanks to superior diet and more effective training.
 
These runners are just exceptions. Most ordinary peole in our society cannot put up with many of these so called primitive peoles in endurance. and it doesn´t only apply for high altitudes. Several people who have visited for example Native americans in the Amazon have whitnessed about the same endurance and strenght. Also some people who has visited pygmys in Central Africa has been astounded how fast and how long these people could walk in difficult terrain, often leaving the visitors exhausted after just a short stretch.
I quoted the East African runners to show how natural endowments can be improved with modern diet and training. Quite obviously different racial groups have different physical capabilities. It's no accident that pretty well all major sprint races are won by people of West African descent, while pretty well all distance runners of quality are of East African descent. But you don't find many East African shot putters and hammer throwers, the way you will find Slav and Germanic ones.  
 
What would I think be blatantly wrong would be to assume that primitive peoples in general were necessarily either better or worse at certain physical feats than modern humans (ignoring diet and training). You'd expect them of course to evolve characteristics suitable for their environment but that would only happen if they stayed around for a long time in the same surroundings.
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Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
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